After starting 1-4 on the season, the Frisco RoughRiders reeled off a 10-game winning streak before finally losing to the Corpus Christi Hooks 7-5 on Sunday. With four games at home against the defending Texas League Champion San Antonio Missions, there is no better time to catch Double-A’s hottest team than now.
Spotlight on: SS/2B Luis Sardinas and 3B Ryan Rua
Both Ryan Rua and Luis Sardinas know a thing or two about promotions. Each made their Double-A debuts last season, and each has more than held their own for the Frisco RoughRiders.
Luis Sardinas, a 20-year-old middle infielder from Bolivar, Venezuela, was the 72-ranked minor league baseball prospect by Baseball Prospectus. In five seasons in the minors, Sardinas has compiled a triple-slash line of .289/.343/.349 with 75 stolen bases.
After dominating at High-A Myrtle Beach in 2013, Sardinas earned a promotion to Double-A Frisco. Over his 29 games with the RoughRiders, he flashed all of the tools that made many mention him in the same breath as super-prospect Jurickson Profar. Sardinas does not possess the power potential of the aforementioned Profar, but he certainly has the advantage in plus-speed.
An injury to the Texas Rangers‘ Jim Adduci earned Sardinas another promotion—this time to join the major-league team as a utility infielder and bench bat. So far so good for Sardinas in The Show as he singled in his first MLB at-bat during the Rangers 16-2 loss against the Chicago WhiteSox last Sunday.
Like Sardinas, Rua earned his call-up to Double-A based on his dominance in the lower levels of the minor leagues. Unlike Sardinas, Rua skipped over High-A Myrtle Beach all together. Rua was so dominant at Low-A Hickory, that skipping High-A seemed like a no-brainer. While with the Crawdads, Rua raked—collecting 29 home runs and 82 RBI in only 367 at-bats.
Once with the RoughRiders, Rua scuffled but finished the year with 32 home runs over his two stops. Over the first few weeks of 2014, it appears as though Rua has made the necessary adjustments to succeed at Double-A. So far, he’s gone .341/.453/.591 with two homers and seven RBI.
Studs on the farm such as Rua and Sardinas provide a good look into how the Rangers have been able to stay afloat thus far despite being besieged with injuries. Organizational depth has been a hallmark of the Jon Daniels’ era, and these two future starts provide an exclamation point to solidify the point.
Upcoming RoughRiders Games
The RoughRiders’ ridiculously successful road trip ended last night as they return home to Frisco’s Dr. Pepper Ballpark for a four-game home stand with the San Antonio Missions. The Missions, the reigning Texas League Champions, are always a big draw. The RoughRiders’ first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 for Tuesday thru Thursday, and tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.